Pambazuka News 477: Zimbabwe: Demystifying sanctions and strengthening solidarity

A shadow has fallen over Zambia's long history of generously hosting refugees from troubled countries since 36 foreigners were deported to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but the government says it is only trying to ensure security and order in camps that still shelter some 57,000 people. "We are hoping that [deportations] will stop," said James Lynch, country representative for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Zambia. The organization communicated its alarm at the more

The effects of climate change - such as drought, livestock deaths and resource conflict - may be all too apparent for the pastoralists of northern Kenya, but there is much to be done to explain the true causes. "We were warned about the current situation by our elders and spiritual leaders when I was very young. This was about 50 years ago when the Ngishili age groups were born,” Lemeteki Lerinagato, 70, told IRIN in the Samburu district.

A so-called Vulture Funds bill - to stop finance companies using British courts to extort excessive debt repayments from some of the world's poorest countries - was passed in the frantic scramble to finish outstanding parliamentary business before Britain's general election in May.

A new piece of kit in the form of a backpack could help small farmers in Kenya increase yields, profits and agricultural know-how in a sustainable way. The backpacks, weighing 15-42 kg, contain things which help farmers bring a crop to harvest, including tools, a training manual and, in some versions, a collapsible water tank. They are designed for small plots of land and are currently being used in the Mau Forest region.

Funding for the first phase of an initiative to connect African research centres and link them to an existing European network has been approved by the European Commission. The approval follows a report that identified sufficient IT infrastructure in Africa to support the AfricaConnect Initiative, which aims to improve research collaborations and access to information.